September 28, 2016: Brodsky Gallery opening

April 18, 2016: activating the archive


Help us celebrate the latest issue of SYMBIOSIS, the annual Penn publication featuring artist/writer collaborations, at this month's BRODSKY GALLERY OPENING. Enjoy a statement by editor-in-chief, Gina DeCagna, and become a part of our interactive and collaborative art exhibit, while getting the chance to mingle with Symbiosis staff and collaborators.

For more information and the chance to read this year's edition online, please visit Symbiosis' website.

January 2016: Organize Your Own

Organized by Daniel Tucker

Organize Your Own is an exhibition and event series featuring new work by contemporary artists and poets that responds to archival materials related to the history of white people organizing their own working-class white neighborhoods in Philadelphia (the October 4th Organization) and Chicago (the Young Patriots Organization) in keeping with the mandate from the Black Power movement to "organize your own" community against racism. The exhibit features work by the following artists: Mary Patten (Chicago), Dave Pabellon (Chicago), Dan S Wang (Madison), Rosten Woo (Los Angeles), Robby Herbst (Los Angeles), Mat Neff (Philadelphia), Amber Art and Design (Philadelphia), Works Progress with Jayanthi Kyle (Minneapolis), Irina Contreras (Oakland), and Anne Braden Institute (Louisville). Major support for Organize Your Own has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

For more information please visit OYO's website.

November 2015: Sinead Cahill

The Limner

On Wednesday, November 16th, the Writers House debuted a new Brodsky Gallery opening featuring Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts graduate Sinead Cahill. Cahill's show was called "The Limner," and the title was featured on a broadside designed by students working at the Robison Press. Before attendees walked through the gallery, Cahill shared a presentation about her methods and the evolution of her art. Cahill works primarily with fabrics and the lithograph, designing pieces as varied as fabric sculptures, Girl Scout-style badges, and tiny pillows. Her Girl Scout-style badges are all inspired by specific people or places in her life and she said the project of making them was a way of finding her own place in the world and specifically Philadelphia. She often begins with drawings which are transferred to the lithograph -- drawings that are, as she put it "not about what they are but instead about what they become."

September 2015: Poetry and the Art of the Book

Brodsky Gallery Opening

This exhibition is a showcase of a selection of exciting contemporary small press and hand made and printed work from four small, poetry-focused presses -- Belladonna*, Fact-Simile Editions, Nightboat Books and the Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. The show explores the ways in which scale, color, texture, construction, choice of materials and more come together with the text when poetry is represented as a two-dimensional art object. Members of each press are represented in the show -- Rachel Levitsky of Belladonna*, Travis and JenMarie MacDonald of Fact-Simile Editions, Stephen Motika of Nightboat Books and Brenda Iijima of Portable Press -- and they spoke at the exhibition's opening event, both about the works in the show generally and about their specific printing and design processes. Afterwards, the conversation was continued in the gallery with a reception, and time was given to read and view all of the small press works on display.

This show is a collaboration between the Writers House and the PHILALALIA annual small press, hand made poetry and art fair, with special thanks to Kevin Varrone who helps organize PHILALALIA and to Brian Teare for his help in organizing the gallery show.

April 2015: Symbiosis

Spring 2015 Issue Release

Symbiosis, an undergraduate student magazine of collaborative visual art and writing, celebrated their 2015 issue's release with a reading in the Arts Cafe and an art showing at the Kelly Writers House's Brodsky Gallery. From photography, to comic art, to cyantope prints, the collaborators in this year's issue of Symbiosis create a diverse collection of art, showcasing the creative talents of Penn's undergradautes. Visit Symbiosis online here.

January 2015: Samantha Mitchell

In Grain: Prints

Samantha Mitchell (b. 1986, New York City) is an artist who lives and works in Philadelphia. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2008, and lived and worked in Illinois, Utah, California, and Oregon before enrolling in the MFA program of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, graduating in 2012. Mitchell is primarily a drawer and printmaker who seeks to investigate the relationship between order and chaos through different processes of mark-making. Her work has been exhibited at the International Print Center (New York), the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (Washington, DC), Grizzly Grizzly (Philadelphia), the Woodmere Museum (Philadelphia, PA), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Projekt Gallery (Berlin), and at the David Hotel (Tel Aviv). She is an editor at Title Magazine, a Philadelphia-based online arts magazine, and a contributor to The Brooklyn Rail. Mitchell works as an adjunct professor at Delaware County Community College and an arts educator at the Center for Creative Works. In February, she will begin an artist's residency at Caldera Center for the Arts in Sisters, Oregon.

November 2014: Keren Katz

Uncontested Spaces

Keren Katz is an Israeli illustrator and cartoonist. She received her MFA in Illustration from The School of Visual Arts (New York) and her B.Des from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Jersusalem). She has been sketching guerrilla poetry events and adventures events since 2006 and has created titles like: The Night Poetry Class in Room 1001, Crossing The Rubikon, Chronicles of the Falling Women, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Coat Check Dream, Fire Theatre, Rashomon Ramat-Gan, Before The Dark Gate, Only Three of Them Were Real and Uncontested Spaces. For more of her work visit: here or here.

October 2014: Emi Gennis

From the Beyond

Emi Gennis is a cartoonist and illustrator from the Midwest. Her often macabre historical and true crime comics have appeared in several online and print publications, including Irene, The Cartoon Picayune, Bitch Magazine, and The Hairpin. She has also produced comics journalism for The Nib and Symbolia. Gennis is the editor of Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends, an anthology of nonfiction mystery comics (Hic & Hoc Publications, 2013). Her work appeared in the 2013 documentary Oregon Experience: Portland Noir, produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.F.A. in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art & Design. Gennis currently resides in southeastern Kansas where she teaches art at Pittsburg State University. Her work can be found at

April 2014: Symbiosis

The Crossraods of Art and Writing

Founded in September 2012, Symbiosis is a project based in the Kelly Writers House dedicated to uniting visual and literary artists. The project pairs artists with writers and encourages them to collaborate. Central to the mission of the Symbiosis project: the free exchange of creative ideas across disciplines. Scientifically, "symbiosis" is the interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association. For people, "symbiosis" refers to a mutually beneficial relationship.

January 2014: Ryan Collerd

Prize Every Time

Ryan Collerd grew up in Northwest Jersey next door to an old volcano (it's true look it up) and not far from the Appalachian Trail. He's currently a freelance photographer in Philadelphia whose clients include The New York Times, The Wall St. Journal, Monocle, Philadelphia Magazine, and more. When he's not making pictures for them you can find him floating on a river in the Pine Barrens of South Jersey in his one-person canoe. No it's not a kayak.

November 2013: Francie Shaw

Rex Works

Francie Shaw is an artist who lives in Philadelphia with her husband, poet and Penn professor, Bob Perelman. She shows at A.I.R. Gallery in New York City.

September 2013: Erin Murray

Recent Work

Erin Murray was born in Philadelphia in 1979 and currently lives and works in that city. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001. Her work draws on the built environment to empathically explore themes of humanity. Recent solo exhibitions have been at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York, the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, and The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE. Her work has been included in recent group exhibitions at Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia and Salon Zurcher in New York. In 2012 she was awarded the West Collects acquisition prize and joined the artist's collective Vox Populi. You can find her work published in New American Paintings, Tabletop Zine, and Dirty Laundry Magazine.

April 2013: Comic Sans MS

January 2013: Mary Smull

Mary Smull is an artist, writer, and curator living in Philadelphia. Recently, her work has been exhibited regionally at the Philadelphia International Airport, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Temple Contemporary, Philadelphia, PA, and nationally at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Public Fiction Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Cranbrook Museum of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Internationally, she has shown at the Korea National University of the Arts in Seoul, South Korea and Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her work has been featured in Fiberarts Magazine, American Craft Magazine, and will be featured in the upcoming publication The Unfinishables, funded by the Arts Council of England. Smull teaches in the Fiber Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD, and holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

September 2012: Kaitlin Pomerantz

Imaginary gardens, real toads

Kaitlin Pomerantz (b. 1986, New York City) is an artist based out of Philadelphia. Her work explores relationships between nature and culture, material and memory, objecthood and representation, and draws from the history of the still life genre. Pomerantz received a bachelor's degree in art history from the University of Chicago and studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her work has been shown in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Palouse, Washington; most recently at the Invisible Dog, Brooklyn, and the University City Arts League, Philadelphia. Pomerantz will serve as resident artist this fall at Annmarie Garden in the Southern Chesapeake, where she will conduct a site specific installation and oyster restoration project.

March 2012: JenMarie Davis, Deborah Poe, and Bushra Rehman


This exhibition at Brodsky Gallery, HANDMADE/HOMEMADE, is a collaboration with Philadelphia poet and bookmaker JenMarie Davis and represents a stunning collection of broadsides, limited edition works, chapbooks, and posters, all of which are all handmade, homemade and letterpress printed by multiple artists. The opening event will feature readings and discussion with some of the artists, followed by a reception that will include the opportunity to explore the handmade book arts with a small book-making demonstration table.

Deborah Poe is author of the poetry collections Elements (Stockport Flats Press 2010), Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords 2008), and "the last will be stone, too" as well as a novella in verse, "Hélène" (Furniture Press 2012). Her writing regularly appears in journals, most recently in Denver Quarterly, Mantis, Bone Bouquet, Peep/Show, Yew Journal, and Open Letters Monthly. With her colleague Ama Wattley, she is co-editing a fiction anthology, Between Worlds: An Anthology of Fiction and Criticism (Peter Lang 2012). She is also co-editing an anthology of Hudson Valley innovative poetry with Anne Gorrick and Sam Truitt (Station Hill Press 2013). Deborah is assistant professor of English at Pace University, Westchester. For more information, please visit

Bushra Rehman's mother says Bushra was born in an ambulance flying through the streets of Brooklyn. Her father is not so sure, but it would explain a few things. Bushra was a vagabond poet who traveled for years with nothing more than a greyhound ticket and a bookbag full of poems. Her work has been featured on BBC Radio 4, KPFA, New York Times, India Currents, Crab Orchard Review, Sepia Mutiny, Color Lines, Mizna, and in numerous anthologies. Bushra is co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism. Her novella "Bhangra Blowout" is forthcoming through Upset Press.

February 2012: Amze Emmons

Recent works on paper

Amze Emmons (b. 1974, Amsterdam, NY) is a Philadelphia-based, multi-disciplinary artist with a background in drawing and printmaking. Emmons received a BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University and a MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. He has held solo exhibitions at Space 1026, Philadelphia; OHT Gallery, Boston; and Works on Paper Gallery, Philadelphia. His work has been exhibited in group exhibitions including EFA Project Space and the International Print Center, New York; the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington; the Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines; Wendy Cooper Gallery, Chicago; and The Print Center, Philadelphia. Emmons has received numerous awards including a Fellowship in the Arts from the Independence Foundation; an Individual Creative Artist Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Arts Council; and a Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony. His work has received critical attention in New American Paintings, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe, among other publications. He has taught at the University of Vermont and the University of Iowa and is currently an associate professor of art at Muhlenberg College. Emmons is also a co-founder and contributor of the popular art blog, PRINTERESTING.

November 2011: Sigmund Laufer

Holocaust Prints

Sigmund Laufer (1920-2007) grew up in Berlin until age sixteen, when he emigrated to a northern Palestinian Kibbutz as part of the Youth Aliyah of European Jews threatened by the rise of Nazism in Germany. He then moved to Jerusalem where he met his future wife, Miriam Laufer, also an artist and a refugee from Berlin. After the war in June 1947, they emigrated together to New York City, where they had two children, Abigail Laufer and Susan Bee (Laufer). Sigmund began working for the Board of Jewish Education as a book designer, calligrapher, and art director of the children's publication, World Over. He was employed by the BJE for 44 years from 1948 to 1992. Upon moving to New York, Laufer simultaneously began his career as a printmaker and artist, and created black and white and color etchings and lithographs. His first exhibition was just two years after arriving in New York, as part of a group show at the Jewish Museum in New York City in 1949. He had solo shows in New York and was included in many group shows. His work was widely reviewed. Laufer's prints are part of many collections, private and public, in the United States and abroad, including the Metropolitan Museum and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the National Library in Paris, and the National Museum in Jerusalem. This series of nine Holocaust etchings, which were created in the 1960s, have not been exhibited together since then.

September 2011: Curatorial Show

Philadelphia Future Perfect

The first Brodsky Gallery exhibit of the 2011/2012 season will feature prints of Philadelphia city-planning maps depicting large-scale projects that never came to pass—at least not quite how the maps had promised them. Ranging from hand-drawn sketches to scaled blue-prints, this selection gathers proposals from architects and planning authorities from throughout Philadelphia's urban history, revealing the cities that could have been. Harris Steinberg, executive director of PennPraxis and life-long Philadelphian, will begin the evening with a discussion of maps, city planning, and Philadelphia histories past and present. The talk will be followed by a reception during which attendees will be invited to read and peruse the maps. This opening also serves as the kick-off for a year-long collaborative chapbook project which will aim to collect writings from and about these "alternative Philadelphias."

March 2011: Derek Beaulieu

co-sponsored by: Writers Without Borders

Author of five books of poetry (most recently the visual poem suite Silence) and three volumes of conceptual fiction (most recently the short fiction collection How to Write), Derek Beaulieu's work is consistently praised as some of the most radical and challenging contemporary Canadian writing. His work has appeared in over 150 journals internationally, has been translated into Turkish, Polish, French and Icelandic and has been featured in over 200 small press publications. His conceptual novels Flatland and Local Colour, both explorations of texts without texts, were published in the UK and Finland respectively and are limit cases of prose.

January 2011: Linh Dinh

State of the Union

Born in Vietnam, Linh Dinh is a poet, fiction writer, and photographer. His photo blog, State of the Union, tracks our "deteriorating socialscape" with 2,100 photos and counting. Dinh is the author of two collections of stories from Seven Stories Press, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five books of poems, All Around What Empties Out (Tinfish 2003), American Tatts (Chax 2005), Borderless Bodies (Factory School 2006), Jam Alerts (Chax 2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (Chax 2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (Seven Stories 2010). His work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, Best American Poetry 2004, Best American Poetry 2007 and Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, among other places. Dinh is also the editor of the anthologies Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (Seven Stories Press 1996) and Three Vietnamese Poets (Tinfish 2001), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (Tupelo 2006).

November 2010: Susan Bee

A Retrospective

co-sponsored by: Feminism/s and the Wexler Family Fund

Susan Bee is an artist, editor and designer who works and lives in New York City. Her work examines and questions intersections of identity, gender roles and secular Jewish culture. As an artist, she believes strongly in the role of the imagination and the importance of poetry, humor, irony, memory, and fantasy in art. She also believes in idiosyncratic, individualistic, and eccentric art making. She has published six artist's books with Granary Books, including collaborations with poets: Bed Hangings, with Susan Howe, A Girl's Life, with Johanna Drucker, Log Rhythms and Little Orphan Anagram with Charles Bernstein and The Burning Babe and Other Poems with Jerome Rothenberg. She is coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artist's Writings, Theory, and Criticism, with writings by over 100 artists, critics, and poets, published by Duke University Press in 2000. She was the coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: A Journal of Contemporary Art Issues from 1986-1996 and is the coeditor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online.

September 2010: Hiroyuki Nakamura

Hiroyuki Nakamura was born in 1977 and grew up in a suburb of the small industrial city Hamamatsu in Japan. Like many Japanese children, Nakamura was fascinated with trains and at the early age of five he started to photograph this fascination in earnest. When he was eleven years old, Nakamura and his family moved to Chicago where he spent three years at a private Japanese middle school with the intent of returning to Japan for high school. During that time, Nakamura planned out a series of road trips with his family in order to photograph trains and the vast American landscape. By the end of middle school, Nakamura and his family had driven through most of the 50 states, an experience which Nakamura says certainly influenced his decision to stay in America when his parents returned to Japan.

After graduating from a private military academy turned prep school, Nakamura moved to Philadelphia in 1996 and studied photography at Drexel University. While at Drexel, he started a series of what he called "one-of-a-kind" photographs in which he treated his printed paper negative as a canvas; drawing, scratching and adding other elements to create surrealistic mixed-media prints which he then enlarged. In 2000, he moved to New York City where he received his MFA in photography in 2002 from the School of Visual Arts. While at SVA, Nakamura started moving more towards mixed media photography, until finally replacing the film negative altogether with canvas in 2004. Since then, Nakamura has been painting exclusively. Currently he lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

March 2010: Group Show

Synaptic Mimes: the Private Spectacular

Synaptic Mimes: the Private Spectacular was a seven-artist exhibition, featuring work by Matthew Albanese, Nadja Bournonville, Miguel Cárdenas, Selena Kimball, Mary Mattingly, Ryan Mrozowski, and Patricia Smith.

January 2010: Jessica Nissen

Uncommonly Selected: Rorschach Drawings

Jessica Nissen splits her time between NYC, where she works as a scenic artist for the entertainment industry and Vermont, where she keeps a studio and occasionally teaches in the Art Dept. of Middlebury College. Nissen received an MFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art in 1998, a BA from Middlebury College in 1990 and earned undergraduate credits from the Rhode Island School of Design and Tyler. She has been a fellow at The Corporation of Yaddo and the Chautauqua Institution. Since 1991 she has exhibited extensively and has participated both as an artist and as an organizer/curator in several large-scale interdisciplinary art events.

November 2009: Christian BÖk

Umlaut Machine: Selected Visual Works

co-sponsored by: Writers Without Borders

Christian Bök is the author of Crystallography (1994, Coach House Press), a pataphysical encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Eunoia (2001, Coach House Books), a bestselling work of experimental literature and winner of the Griffin Prize for Poetic Excellence. Bok has created artificial languages for two television shows: Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley's Amazon. Bök has also earned many accolades for his virtuoso performances of sound poetry (particularly the Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters). His conceptual artworks (which include books built out of Rubik's cubes and Lego bricks) have appeared at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City as part of the exhibit Poetry Plastique. Bok is currently a Professor of English at the University of Calgary.

September 2009: Group Show

Poem Posters: Small Press Broadsides

In conjunction with the broadside exhibition Poem Posters, comprising letterpress work from small printshops around the country, San Fransico to Brooklyn. Poem Posters presses included Ugly Duckling Press of Brooklyn, NY, The Common Press of Philadelphia, PA, Littoral Press of Oakland, CA, Dead Skin Press of Portland, ME, Hermetic Press of Minneapolis, MN, New Lights Press of Oakland, CA, Phylum Press of New Haven, CT, Propolis Press of Northamton, MA, Axel & Otto of San Francisco, CA, Intima Press of New York, NY, Auto Types Press of New York, NY, C&C Press of Pajaro, CA, Punch Press of Buffalo, NY, Poltroon Press of Berkeley, CA, and Small Fires Press of Memphis, TN. KWH Art presented a press fair to showcase a number of press projects from all over the country, San Francisco to Brooklyn. The exhibition's title is borrowed from Charles Henri Ford's short experimental film featuring (and named after) his 1965 Poem Posters, exhibition at New York's Cordier & Ekstrom gallery.

April 2009: Curatorial Show

Spin Glasses and Other Frustrated Systems

Spin Glasses and Other Frustrated Systems comprised a series of wallpaper patterns designed from a constrained set of source materials: 13 books cherry-picked from one afternoon's visit to Strand Bookstore, NYC. Each wall's pattern distorted graphics and schemata from a single book, such as mechanical drawing manuals, cathedral architectural plans, encyclopedias, and texts on linguistics and condensed matter physics. In a doubled-over process of abstraction, diagrammatic information was re-translated and permutated as formal motifs into background noise.

The opening for the exhibit included a group reading from the selected texts, excerpted and doctored by Michelle Taransky, Cecilia Corrigan, Timothy Leonido, Diana Hamilton, Eddie Hopely, Vladimir Zykov, Joey Yearous-Algozin, Trisha Low,Steve McLaughlin, Gregory Laynor, Ian Davisson, Johann Diedrick, and James La Marre.

September 2009: Group Show

That's What She Said: Female Voices in Embroidery

The exhibition included selections from Andrea Dezsö's sampler series "Lessons from My Mother" and Elaine Reichek's "As She Likes It."

Andrea Dezsö is an artist and a writer. She has shown at the Jack Tilton Gallery, The New York Armory Show, Art Basel Miami, Museum of Arts & Design and BravinLee Programs. Her work was reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Print, MarieClaire and Metropolis. Her writing appeared in McSweeney's, Print and Esopus. A book about Dezsö's art, creative process and obsessions titled Andrea Dezsö: Fetish Book was published in 2006. Dezsö is the recipient of a 2008 Kamiyama Fellowship, 2007 NYFA Fellowship, a 2007 Six Points Fellowship and the Ucross Foundation's 2005 Lois Nellie Gill Award for Female Visual Artist of Exceptional Merit. She is Assistant Professor of Media Design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. You can see some of her work at her website.

Elaine Reichek is an artist known for her use of the age-old medium of embroidery to examine contemporary issues. In many works based upon the sampler—a traditional embroiderer's exercise incorporating narrative images, patterns, and motifs framed by verbal homilies and lessons—Reichek remakes existing images from high and low art, replacing the aphorisms of the sampler with quotations from a wide variety of sources throughout history and literature. Born in New York, she received a B.F.A. from Yale University and a B.A. from Brooklyn College. She has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Wexner Center for the Visual Arts, Columbus, OH, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Belgium, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Tel Aviv Art Museum, Israel. She lives in New York City.